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Setting the Price

The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). The CMA will reflect the following:

  • houses in your price range and area that were sold within the last half-year
  • asking and selling prices of houses
  • current inventory of houses on the market
  • features of each house on the market

From the CMA, you will learn the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.

Always be realistic. Understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

Top 5 Family Friendly Things to Do in Daytona Beach



Sounds of race cars zipping around the track and images of tranquil sandy beaches may seem to be at odds anywhere else but Daytona Beach. Here, visitors will find the raceway and beautiful oceanfront as not only a fact of life, but the perfect, if not unique, combination of fun. Daytona Beach offers endless opportunities for things to do that can only be found in this side of the Sunshine State.

1. Take a Tour of Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory

Since 1925, Angell & Phelps have been a generational family favorite in Daytona Beach. This chocolate confectionery crafts high-quality, handmade fine chocolates and offers free samples with every free, guided tour. The factory offers ADA accessibility for wheelchair use and strollers. Each 20-minute tour invites guests to view the behind the scenes operations of chocolate making. Tours run once every hour between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM throughout the week and including Saturday. On Sunday, tours are open between noon and 5:00 PM. Small groups are welcome to arrive at any of the designated tour times, however it is encouraged for groups larger than 15 to call ahead to schedule a reservation.   

2. Jump into the Daytona Lagoon

This one-stop destination for family fun packs a water park, arcade, and an 18-hole mini golf course all into one place. For those looking to stay dry, Daytona Lagoons MEGA arcade offers over 70 immersive games with select games offering the opportunity to earn points to be redeemed for major prizes. The Lagoon also offers indoor laser tag, a rock climbing wall, and go-karting. The water park offers a variety of open and enclosed slides for older riders and an activity park with water options for smaller guests. Daytona Lagoon is located in the heart of Daytona Beach in convenient proximity to a variety of hotels and resorts. Boasting the most attraction activities in Daytona Beach, Daytona Lagoon offers a huge range of entertainment options to be enjoyed by all ages.

3. Relax at Daytona Beach

Both the shore and the pier are bustling with crowds and excitement. The beach is known for its hard-packed sand suitable for driving cars onto the beach. Although the cars driving along the shore have raised concerns by parents and sunbathers alike, the beach also features a mile-long pedestrian only zone along the pier. To deter drivers, walking on the beach is free but driving on the beach will cost you a fee of five dollars. The 23-mile long stretch of sand and surf is universally enjoyed by all visitors. Alongside umbrellas and beach chairs perfect for lounging, guests are invited to rent all-terrain vehicles, bicycles, and golf carts to zip around the coastline.

4. Sign Up for a Stand-Up Paddleboard Tour

Ready to get up close and personal with Daytona Beach? Sign up for a stand-up paddleboard group tour to spot manatees and dolphins alongside a trusted tour guide. A truly unique experience, guests that embark on the two-hour guided tour will paddle along the ocean surf wading through calmer water to greet groups of friendly dolphins and manatees. New to paddle boarding? You wont be alone. Most guests signing up for the tour are far from pros. Each tour begins with a demonstration on dry land before moving on to a lesson on the dos and don’ts of paddle boarding. The tour takes visitors on a scenic adventure encompassing beautiful coastline sights. Points of interest along the tour include a nearby island, bridges, canals, and a Yacht Club. The selected waters traveled by the group include marine life hot spots with high concentration of manatee and dolphin activity to increase the chances of greeting one of these sought after marine mammals. Be sure to make reservations in advance as this attraction fills up quickly!

5. Visit the Daytona International Speedway

Since its opening in 1959, the Daytona International Speedway has been attracting racing fans from across the country. The Speedway is home to the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 held each year. The Daytona 500 is regarded as one of the most important races in NASCAR being the first race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The raceway also hosts an annual country music festival and smaller, 250-mile race near the Fourth of July. If youre not in town for the Speedways two premiere events, stop by the track on your visit to Daytona and take a ride in a race car! The Richard Petty Driving Experience allows guests visiting the raceway to ride shotgun inside a real NASCAR race car for three exhilarating laps around the track! Your experience package includes a meet-and-greet with an instructor including a safety lesson before suiting up in head-to-toe professional gear. Buckle up and prepare to zip around the track at speeds topping 145 mph!

Tips will help you with buying a new home

You are finally ready to buy a new home -- congratulations! Buying a new is a huge step and can provide you security for years to come. Of course, it’s a big investment, so you want to be smart about it. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the commitment and cost that come with home buying, you’re not alone. Anxiety over buyer’s remorse is real. However, you can help prevent that stress by adequately preparing for this venture. Use the following tips and resources and you’ll be happy with your experience.


The Home Inspection


If you want to avoid buying a lemon, you want a home inspection that will catch any and all flaws in the home. It doesn’t matter if the house is new, a historic treasure, or a basic 30-year-old home on the market, you’ll definitely need an inspection. When finding an inspector, don’t just settle with one your real estate agent recommends. Ask friends and family if they have someone whose work they were happy with and cross-reference with the American Society of Home Inspectors. You’ll be grateful for putting in that bit of extra work when you end up buying a house free of serious flaws that will cost you big down the road.


Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate


Most transactions we make in our day-to-day lives involve fixed prices. But when it comes to buying a home, you get to use your negotiating skills.  Don’t be afraid to ask the seller how flexible they are willing to be on the price. While you don’t have to offer exactly what’s being asked, you definitely don’t want to offend them with something that is way too lowball.


While negotiating your purchase price, don’t forget you can save money by asking for credits to repair or replace things in the home that your inspector says needs fixing. There’s also room to negotiate on closing costs. Talk with your real estate agent about where they think you can save money.


The Final Walk-Through


There’s no such thing as too careful when it comes to making such a huge purchase. Before you close, you want to be sure this is the house for you. A final walk-through to see the property sans carpets and furniture can give you a better idea of what you are getting yourself into. This way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises after you’ve gotten in too deep. 


Leave Nothing Behind


Once you’ve closed and you’re ready to move into your new home, you want to make sure you are leaving a clean slate behind in your old home or apartment. Not only will this help you recover your deposit, it’s simply the polite thing to do. If you hire a professional cleaner, you can turn in the receipt to your landlord as proof. Also, professional house cleaning can be pretty affordable. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price for a maid service to clean a house interior runs from $115 to $205. If you like the work your house cleaner does, you can use them in the future to make your new home clean and bright, as well.




Buying your a new home is a big investment, so you want it to be in the right direction. Rushing into a purchase can lead to buyer’s remorse. To avoid that, take it slow and be cautious. Use a licensed home inspector with references you trust. Don’t be afraid to break out your negotiating skills to work down the price. Before you commit to buying, do a final walk-through to be sure it’s the home for you. Finally, be sure to leave your old place in great shape by paying for a professional cleaning that can help you recoup your deposit.

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 675,000 US homeowners regained positive equity in their homes in 2017. This is great news for the country, as 95.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

U.S homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all the properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of $908.4 billion since the fourth quarter 2016, an increase of 12.2%, year over year.”

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

Home-price growth has been the primary driver of home-equity wealth creation. The CoreLogic Home Price Index grew 6.2 percent during 2017. The largest calendar-year increase since 2013. Likewise, the average growth in home equity was more than $15,000 during 2017, the most in four years.”

He also believes this is a great sign for the market in 2018, saying:

“Because wealth gains spur additional consumer purchases, the rise in home-equity wealth during 2017 should add more than $50 billion to U.S. consumption spending over the next two to three years. 

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

A study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their homes as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 4.9% of homes are in that position (down from 6.3% in Q4 2016).

The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%) when in actuality, 83% do!

Are You Aware of How Much Equity You Have in Your Home? You May Be Surprised! | MyKCM

This means that 46% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a house (either larger or smaller) that better meets their current needs.

Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:

“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2018! Let’s get together to evaluate your situation!

Florida: Your Home Away From Home


Photo By: Pixabay


Florida: Your Home Away From Home


Maybe you’ve finally retired, and you’re looking for the perfect place to get away to enjoy that sweet freedom. Perhaps retirement is in the near future, or maybe you’re just on the hunt for your next big investment. Whatever your situation may be, Florida just might be your answer. Are you ready to make the leap? What are your options? Read on to find out.


Look at Your Finances


Trying to figure out if you are ready to buy a vacation home is probably one of the top questions you’re asking yourself. Start by considering how affordable it is. On a list of the top 15 most affordable beach towns to purchase a vacation home, Florida dominates seven of those spots, making it the prime spot to buy. Not so fast. It might be a bargain, but you need to take a moment to seriously think over your current financial state and consider every single expense. There’s the down payment, closing costs, utilities, insurance, and maintenance. If you plan to rent the property out when it isn’t in use, you’ll need to factor in a marketing plan to attract buyers, as well as repairs and upkeep.


Think Realistically


Another key piece to consider is how much use you’ll get out of your vacation home. While a vacation home can certainly be a source of income, how often can you visit? Is it close enough that you can easily get there? It’s easy to say that you’ll use it five or six times a year, but when you combine work, family, and life in general, you might find that you don’t have as much free time as you thought. However, if you are already spending weeks or more in Florida and have practically become a local, investing in a vacation home might be the best route to give you the most bang for your buck. Keep in mind, if you plan on renting it out, you need to factor in the usage here too. The good news is that Florida is one of the top vacation destinations, and the reasons you are attracted to it will be the same ones that bring renters in.


All Vacation Homes Aren’t Created Equal


While you can buy a second home, you should know that there are other options when it comes to vacation homes such as a condo or a townhome. With a condo, you own a single unit within the building and are responsible for maintenance only through your association fees. With a townhome, you own the structure itself as well as the unit, and it is common for there to be a shared wall between two neighbors. In this case, you are responsible for the maintenance both inside and outside the residence. Both condominiums and townhomes typically have communal areas, such as a pool and gym that is maintained by the property manager. Florida is sunny and hot, so having a pool that you don’t have to manage or clean is a huge bonus. With a house that you turn into a vacation home, you are essentially the property manager unless you have it in your budget to hire one, along with a housekeeper, landscaper, etc.


Florida Has So Much to Offer


If you are still on the fence as far as Florida being the prime location for your second home, the Huffington Post offers no shortage of reasons why Florida is great. The weather is perfect all year long, and the various cultures and landscapes within a few minutes to a couple hours make it a vacation within a vacation. So, if you are considering purchasing a vacation home, Florida should be number one on your list. Before you jump right in, go over your finances, make sure all your questions are answered, and weigh all your options. Your second home is calling!



101 Bent Oak Dr, Unit #79
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
MLS#: V4722147 ( 1037165 for Daytona Board MLS)

Cozy 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo with 861 suare feet located in a quiet community. Community features include an in-ground concrete pool and a club house. Enjoy the quiet summer nights on your balcony while being located nearby shopping, schools, and local night life! Don't wait, this rental wont last long!




MLS#: V4721936      
LIST PRICE: $204,900

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1834 square feet home has great bones and a good location in a quiet neighborhood, just needs a little bit of TLC! Seated in a corner lot with plenty of room for the whole family. This home would make a great fixer-upper for a new family or a potential investor. Don't wait, schedule a showing today!



3062 Wild Pepper Ave



This home has a great location. It is situated in a quiet neighborhood that is located Deltona High School, and interstate exit,and shopping. The surrounding area as a whole is becoming much more developed with a new movie theater, hospital, and restaurants! Community features include an in-ground pool and a community playground. The home features an open lay out and ceramic tile flooring. It also has plenty of backyard space for your family or your pets. Featuring  3 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a 2 car garage. Don't wait, schedule a showing today!

MLS# V4722401

$159, 900


CLICK HERE for the virtual tour

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial

Homeownership is a major part of the American Dream. As evidence of that, 91% of Americans believe that owning a home is either essential (43%) or important (48%) to achieving that “dream.” In a market where some people may be unsure about the benefits and possibilities of buying a home, it is important that we remember this.

Homeownership is NOT just about the money. In fact, some of the major benefits are non-financial. Here are a few of those benefits as per the National Association of Realtors:

  • Consistent findings show that homeownership does make a significant positive impact on educational achievement.

  • Several researchers have found that homeowners tend to be more involved in their communities than renters.

  • Early studies of homeownership and health outcomes found that homeowners and children of homeowners are generally happier and healthier than non-owners, even after controlling for factors such as income and education levels that are also associated with positive health outcomes and positively correlated with homeownership.

Bottom Line

Homeownership means something more to people and their families than just the financial considerations.



Use a Buyer’s Agent


It’s important that you choose an experienced agent who is there for you. Your agent should be actively finding you potential homes, keeping you informed of the entire process, negotiating furiously on your behalf, and answering all of your questions with competence and speed.

First, find an agent who represents you and not the seller. This is beneficial during the negotiation process. If you are working with a buyer’s agent, he or she is required not to tell the seller of your top choice. In addition, he or she is also focused on getting you the lowest asking price.

Also, when you use a buyer’s agent, you will see more properties. Not only are they plugged into their Multiple Listing Service, but they are also actively finding homes that are listed as FSBO, or homes that sellers are thinking about listing.




This 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1834 square feet home has great bones and a good location in a quiet neighborhood, just needs a little bit of TLC! Seated in a corner lot with plenty of room for the whole family. This home would make a great fixer-upper for a new family or a potential investor. Don't wait, schedule a showing today! Listed at $214,900, this deal wont last long!


FOR SALE: 8 Forest Oak Dr

8 Forest Oak Dr, Ormond Beach, FL 32714

OPEN HOUSE 1/20/2018 11 AM - 2 PM

This is a beautifully remodeled house that is waiting for new owners to turn it into a home. At 1950 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, it's just perfect for a small family. Upgrades include a complete kitchen redesign with all new cabinets, spacious 10' granite kitchen island, LG fridge, GE oven, new dishwasher, disposal, ceiling exhaust, large farm sink, and brand new kitchen hardware throughout. Both bathrooms have been completely renovated with a granite counter double vanity mirror installed and the master sports a custom built marble shower with a frameless glass surround. The roof is brand new, electrical panel upgraded to 200 AMP service, new AC system has been installed, and the hot water heater has been replaced wit a new high capacity energy efficient tankless water system. All new windows, baseboard, and molding have been installed throughout the house. The swimming pool has been drained and resurfaced with a new screen enclosure built. Custom built rear yard access gates/fence at driveway. The garage has had a new insulated door and security access pad installed. New doors, new tile floors, new carpets, there really isn't anything else that needs to be done for this to be your next perfect home! Listed at $334,000, don't wait to make an offer because this wont last long!


FOR SALE: 1952 English

1952 English Dr, Deltona, FL 32725
MLS#: V4722088

OPEN HOUSE 1/6/2018 11 AM - 2 PM

Wow, this 3 bedroom 2 bath house has been completely remodeled and is just beautiful! The home has 1,492 square feet and sits on a half-acre lake front lot. It has a brand new roof, new kitchen cabinets, counters, and appliances. Featuring a nice open layout, gorgeous hardwood floors and a large backyard, this home would be just perfect for cookouts and get-togethers. It's located nearby locals schools, shopping, and I-4. It's priced to sell so don't wait, schedule a showing today! It's listed for $170,000 and it won't last long!


What affects property values?



Some the features that increase property values are obvious-like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.

  1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
  2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
  3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it's not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
  4. Parking: This isn't too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That's why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
  5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers-many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

For Sale: 1851 Oakgrove Ave

1851 Oakgrove Ave, Deltona, FL 32725
MLS#: V4721983      

This home features three spacious bedrooms and two full baths with 1,401 square feet and is just waiting for a new family to make it a home! One of the best features about this home is the large extended screen enclosed porch that opens up to the additional bonus room. This space would be a perfect POOL TABLE room, office, or TV room for entertaining. The screen porch overlooks the large back yard like a balcony.  It has a great location and is conveniently located neared shopping and I-4 as well. It's currently listed for sale at $180,000. If you'd like to take a peak at it just Call or Click.



FOR SALE: 1483 Roble Lane

1483 Roble Lane, Deltona, FL 32738
MLS#: V4721932

Here's a great little project for someone who is looking for a bargain and willing to put in a little elbow grease or even a potential investment opportunity. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom block home has 1,322 square feet with a two car garage on a corner lot. It has a great location that is nearby schools, shopping, I-4, and SR 415. The home has a large backyard that would be perfect for a small family or people who own pets. All it needs is a little TLC and it would be a beautiful home for you or others to enjoy. It's currently listed for sale at $129,900. Don't wait to go see this one because it will not last long!


Setting The Price


The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). The CMA will reflect the following:

  • houses in your price range and area that were sold within the last half-year
  • asking and selling prices of houses
  • current inventory of houses on the market
  • features of each house on the market

From the CMA, you will learn the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.

Always be realistic. Understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.



5 Negotiating Tactics That Kill Sale

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.



What Is A FICO® Score?

FICO® stands for Fair Isaac & Company and is the name for the most well known credit scoring system, used by Experian. The credit bureau’s computer evaluates a complete credit profile and assigns a score, which is used to estimate credit worthiness. Each of the three bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) employs its own scoring system, so a given person will usually have 3 separate scores. Someone with a higher score will be viewed as a better risk than someone with a lower score. Typically, scores will range from about 600 to 700 or above, although some cases will be outside this range.

What Kind Of Score Do I Need For A Home Loan?

There are as many answers to this question as there are loan programs available. Most lenders will take the average of all 3 scores to evaluate an application. Niche loans, such as Easy Qualifier and low down payment loans will have higher FICO® requirements.

How Is My Score Determined?

The FICO® model has 5 main elements:

  1. Past payment history (about 35% of score) The fewer the late payments the better. Recent late payments will have a much greater impact than a very old Bankruptcy with perfect credit since.
    Myth - paying off cards with recent late payments will fix things. Payoffs do not affect payment history.
  2. Credit use (about 30% of score) Low balances across several cards is better than the same balance concentrated on a few cards used closer to maximums. Too many cards can bring down the score, but closing accounts can often do more harm than good if the entire profile is not considered. BE CAREFUL WHEN CLOSING ACCOUNTS!
  3. Length of credit history (15% of score) The longer accounts have been open the better for the score. Opening new accounts and closing seasoned accounts can bring down a score a great deal.
  4. Types of credit used (10% of score) Finance company accounts score lower than bank or department store accounts.
  5. Inquiries (10% of score) Multiple inquiries can be a risk if several cards are applied for or other accounts are close to maxed out. Multiple mortgage or car inquiries within a 14 day period are counted as one inquiry.

How Can I Raise My Score

Your score can only be changed by the way that item is reported directly to the credit bureaus (Experian, TU, Equifax). Written confirmation from the creditor is required. It is best to make these corrections before you try to purchase a home, because you can never be sure the exact impact a change will have on your score.

What Does This Mean To Me?

You should have your credit reviewed BEFORE you look for a home, and work with a PROFESSIONAL loan officer to make sure your loan is based on the most accurate information.



Hot, Normal, And Cold Markets

Hot Market

This is an extremely competitive market and is advantageous to the seller. Sometimes, homes will sell as soon as they are listed or even before homes are listed. Typically, during a hot market, multiple offers will be made on each home and more often than not, homes will sell for more than the asking price. It is even more crucial to be prepared and to be ready as a buyer when the market is hot. It can be easy to get caught up in the bid for a home, but if you are prepared (pre-approved, solid in price range, realistic about your needs), it is easier to remain focused on your housing needs and price range.

Normal Market

In a normal market, there is a fairly large number of homes available and an average number of buyers. This market does not necessarily favor the buyer or the seller. A seller may not have as many offers on their home, but he or she may not be desperate to sell either. Again, it is the buyer’s responsibility to be prepared. During a normal market, the chances to negotiate are higher than in a hot market. As a buyer, you can expect to make offers at lower than the asking price and negotiate a price at least somewhat less than what the sellers are asking.

Cold Market

In a cold market, houses may be listed for more than a year and the prices of houses listed may drop considerably. This market is advantageous to the buyer. As a buyer, you have the time to make an offer that works to your best interest. It is not uncommon to low-ball and to find that sellers are accommodating to meet your needs. Keep in mind that even though this market is a great time for buyers, you do not want to lose your dream home by being unrealistic. Your goal is to get your dream home at the best possible price.



Closing Costs When Buying Or Refinancing A Home

This is a detailed summary of costs you may have to pay when you buy or refinance your home. They are listed in the order that they should appear on a Good Faith Estimate you obtain from a mortgage lender. There are two broad categories of closing costs. Non-recurring closing costs are items that are paid once and you never pay again. Recurring closing costs are items you pay time and again over the course of home ownership, such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Some of the items that appear here do not traditionally appear on a lender’s Good Faith Estimate and lenders are not required to show all of these items.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs Associated With The Lender.

Loan Origination Fee - The loan origination fee is often referred to as points. One point is equal to one percent of the mortgage loan. As a rule, if you are willing to pay more in points, you will get a lower interest rate. On a VA or FHA loan, the loan origination fee is one point. Any additional points are called discount points.

Loan Discount - On a government loan, the loan origination fee is normally listed as one point or one percent of the loan. Any points in addition to the loan origination fee are called discount points. On a conventional loan, discount points are usually lumped in with the loan origination fee.

Appraisal Fee - Since your property serves as collateral for the mortgage, lenders want to be reasonably certain of the value and they require an appraisal. The appraisal looks to determine if the price you are paying for the home is justified by recent sales of comparable properties. The appraisal fee varies, depending on the value of the home and the difficulty involved in justifying value. Unique and more expensive homes usually have a higher appraisal fee. Appraisal fees on VA loans are higher than on conventional loans.

Credit Report - As part of the underwriting review, your mortgage lender will want to review your credit history. The cost of running the credit report can vary and is included in closing costs.

Lender’s Inspection Fee - You normally find this fee on new construction and is associated with what is called a 442 Inspection. Since the property is not finished when the initial appraisal is done, the 442 Inspection is done when the building is completed and verifies that construction is complete with carpeting and flooring installed.

Mortgage Broker Fee - About seventy percent of loans are originated through mortgage brokers and they will sometimes list your points in this area instead of the Loan Origination Fee category. They may also add any broker processing fees in this area so you clearly understand how much is being charged by the wholesale lender and how much is being charged by the broker. Wholesale lenders offer lower costs/rates to mortgage brokers than you can obtain directly, so you are not paying extra by going through a mortgage broker.

Tax Service Fee - During the life of your loan you will be making property tax payments, either on your own or through your impound account with the lender. Since property tax liens can sometimes take precedence over a first mortgage, it is in your lender’s interest to pay an independent service to monitor property tax payments.

Flood Certification Fee - Your lender must determine whether or not your property is located in a federally designated flood zone. This is a fee usually charged by an independent service to make that determination.

Flood Monitoring - From time to time flood zones are re-mapped. Some lenders charge this fee to maintain monitoring on whether this re-mapping affects your property.

Other Lender Fees

We put these in a separate category because they vary so much from lender to lender and cannot be associated directly with a cost of the loan. These fees generate income for the lenders and are used to offset the fixed costs of loan origination. The Processing Fee mentioned above can also fall into this category, but since it is listed higher on the Good Faith Estimate Form we did not also include it here. You will normally find some combination of these fees on your Good Faith Estimate.

Document Preparation - Before computers made it fairly easy for lenders to draw their own loan documents, they used to hire specialized document preparation firms for this function. This was the fee charged by those companies. Nowadays, lenders draw their own documents but this fee is charged on almost all loans.

Underwriting Fee - Once again, it is difficult to determine the exact cost of underwriting a loan since the underwriter is usually a paid staff member.

Administration Fee - If an Administration Fee is charged, you will probably find there is no Underwriting Fee. This is not always the case.

Appraisal Review Fee - Even though you will probably not see this fee on your Good Faith Estimate, it is charged occasionally. Some lenders routinely review appraisals as a quality control procedure, especially on higher valued properties.

Warehousing Fee - This is rarely charged and begins to border on the ridiculous. However, some lenders have a warehouse line of credit and add this as a charge to the borrower.

Items Required To Be Paid In Advance

Pre-paid Interest - Mortgage loans are usually due on the first of each month. Since loans can close on any day, a certain amount of interest must be paid at closing to get the interest paid up to the first. For example, if you close on the twentieth, you will pay ten days of pre-paid interest.

Homeowner’s Insurance - This is the insurance you pay to cover possible damages to your home and other items. If you buy a home, you will normally pay the first year’s insurance when you close the transaction. If you are buying a condominium, your Homeowners’ Association Fees normally cover this insurance.

VA Funding Fee - On VA loans, the Veterans Administration charges a fee for guaranteeing your loan. The fee will be a percentage of the loan balance but the exact percentage will vary depending on whether you have used your VA eligibility in the past. Instead of actually paying this as an out-of-pocket expense, most veterans choose to finance it, so it gets added to the loan balance. This is why the loan balance on VA loans can be higher than the actual purchase amount.

Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) - This is charged on FHA purchases of single-family residences (SFR’s) or Planned Unit Developments (PUDs). Like the VA Funding Fee it is normally added to the balance of the loan. Unlike a VA loan, the homebuyer must also pay a monthly mortgage insurance fee, too. This is why many lenders do not recommend FHA loans if the homebuyer can qualify for a conventional loan. Condominium purchases do not require the UFMIP.

Mortgage Insurance - Though it is rare nowadays, some first-time homebuyer programs still require the first year mortgage insurance premium to be paid in advance. Most mortgage insurance (when required) is simply paid monthly along with your mortgage payment. Mortgage insurance covers the lender and covers a portion of the losses in those cases where borrowers default on their loans.

Reserves Deposited With Lender

If you make a minimum down payment, you may be required to deposit funds into an impound account. Funds in this account are your funds, and the lender uses them to make the payments on your homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance (whichever is applicable). Each month, in addition to your mortgage payment, you provide additional funds which are deposited into your impound account.

The lender’s goal is to always have sufficient funds to pay your bills as they come due. Sometimes impound accounts are not required, but borrowers request one voluntarily. A few lenders even offer to reduce your loan origination fee if you obtain an impound account. However, if you are disciplined about paying your bills and an impound account is not required, you can probably earn a better rate of return by putting the funds into a savings account. Impound accounts are sometimes referred to as escrow accounts.

Homeowners Insurance Impounds - your lender will divide your annual premium by twelve to come up with an estimated monthly amount for you to pay into your impound account. Since a lender is allowed to keep two months of reserves in your account, you will have to deposit two months into the impound account to start it up.

Property Tax Impounds - How much you will have to deposit towards taxes to start up your impound account varies according to when you close your real estate transaction. For example, you may close in November and property taxes are due in December. Your deposit would be higher than for someone closing in May.

Mortgage Insurance Impounds - When required, most lenders allow this to simply be paid monthly. However, you may be required to put two months’ worth of mortgage insurance as an initial deposit into your impound account.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs Not Associated With The Lender

Closing/Escrow/Settlement Fee - Methods of closing a real estate transaction vary from state to state, as do the fees.

Title Insurance - Title Insurance assures the homeowner that they have clear title to the property. The lender also requires it to insure that their new mortgage loan will be in first position. The costs vary depending on whether you are purchasing a home or refinancing.

Notary Fees - Most sets of loan documents have two or three forms that must be notarized. Usually your settlement or escrow agent will arrange for you to sign these forms at their office and will charge a notary fee.

Recording Fees - Certain documents get recorded with your local county recorder. Fees vary regionally.

Pest Inspection - This is also referred to as a Termite Inspection. This inspection tests not only for pest infestations, but also other items such as wood rot and water damage. If repairs are required, the amount to cover those repairs can vary. The seller will usually pay for the most serious repairs, but this is a negotiable item. Usually (not always) the pest inspection fee is paid by the seller of the home and is not normally reflected on the Good Faith Estimate.

Home Inspection - Since it is the homebuyer’s choice to obtain a home inspection or not, this cost is not usually reflected on a Good Faith Estimate. However, it is recommended. Keep in mind that the home inspector has a certain set of standards he uses when inspecting a home, and those standards may be higher than required by local building codes. An example is that an inspector may note there is no spark arrestor on a chimney but the local building code may not require it. This sometimes leads to conflicts between buyer and seller.

Home Warranty - This is also an optional item and not normally included on the Good Faith Estimate. A Home Warranty usually covers such items as the major appliances, should they break down within a specific time. Often this is paid by the seller.

Refinancing Associated Costs (But Not Charged By The New Lender)

Interest - When you close the transaction on your refinance, there will most likely be some outstanding interest due on the old loan. For example, if you close on August twentieth (and you made your last payment), you will have twenty days interest due on the old loan and ten days prepaid interest on the new loan. Your first payment on the new loan would not be until October 1st since you have already paid all of August’s interest when you closed the refinance transaction (since interest is paid in arrears, a September payment would have paid August’s interest, which has already been paid in closing).

Reconveyance Fee - This fee is charged by your existing lender when they “reconvey” their collateral interest in your property back to you through recording of a Reconveyance.

Demand Fee - Your existing lender may charge a fee for calculating payoff figures.

Sub-Escrow fee - Though it sounds like an escrow fee, this fee is actually charged by the Title Company. Assume it is an income-generating fee similar to some of the lender fees mentioned above.

Loan Tie-in Fee - Though it sounds like a lender fee, this cost is actually charged by the Escrow Company.

Homeowner’s Association Transfer Fee - If you are buying a condominium or a home with a Homeowner’s Association, the association often charges a fee to transfer all of their ownership documents to you.

Asking The Seller To Pay Closing Costs - Rules And Advice.

It has become common to ask the seller to pay some or all of the closing costs when you purchase a home. Essentially, this is financing your closing costs since you will probably pay a little bit more for the property than you would if you were paying your own costs.

Keep in mind a few simple rules. On conventional loans you can only ask the seller to pay non-recurring costs, not prepaid fees or items to be paid in advance. If you are putting ten percent down or more, the most the seller can contribute is six percent of the purchase price. If you are putting less down, the most the seller can contribute is three percent.

On VA loans, you can ask the seller to pay everything. This is called a “VA No-No”, meaning the buyer is making no down payment and paying no closing costs.

On FHA loans, the seller can pay almost any cost, but the buyer has to have a minimum three percent investment in the home/closing costs.

Most refinances include the closing costs and prepaids in the new loan amount, requiring little or no out-of-pocket expenses to close the deal.

If you didn’t get bored as you read through this, now you know everything (almost) about closing costs.


Getting A Legitimate Lender And Getting Pre-Approved


It used to be that buyers could go house shopping and when they have found their dream home, then they go to get pre-approved. However, in today’s market, that has proven to be one of the least effective methods in landing the dream home.

Most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone. Based on general questions about your income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can estimate how much mortgage you qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved are different things. Pre-approval means that you have applied for a mortgage; you have filled out the mortgage application, received your credit report, and verified your employment, assets, etc. When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

A pre-qualified letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers who are pre-approved. When you are pre-approved, you and the seller know exactly how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility as an interested buyer and lets the seller know immediately that you will qualify for a loan to buy their property.

In addition to being pre-approved, it’s important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Legitimate lenders include: banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders.

Some lenders to avoid: those who lose a form or misplace a file, those who gather information from you in an unorganized manner, those who are not informed about interest rates, points or costs, and those who cannot provide you with the right information.



2828 N ATLANTIC AVE, #1705

Life Style For Sale

You absolutely must see this 17th floor condominium to appreciate the awesome views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Halifax River from the wrap around balcony. 


Beautifully updated with new carpet, paint and tile there is nothing to do but move in and start to enjoy your new life style living on the "Worlds Most Famous Beach"

Located only 20 minutes to the speedway and the airport, more importantly only steps away from beautiful Daytona Beach and the North Atlantic Ocean, restaurants, coffee shops and more.



CLICK HERE to view the virtual tour with additional photos



Making A Good First Impression

If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer both emotionally and visually, thus prompting them to make an offer. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price.

A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don’t show your property until it’s all fixed up. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation.

Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Real estate agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. Consider what architects or landscape designers have to say. What you need are objective opinions, and it’s sometimes hard to separate the personal and emotional ties you have for the home from the property itself.

Typically, there are some general fix ups that need to be done both outside and on the inside. As a seller, you should consider the following:

  • Landscaping - Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition?
  • Cleaning or Redoing the driveway - Is your driveway cluttered with toys, tools, trash etc.?
  • Painting - Does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of?
  • Carpeting - Does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty?


840 Deltona Blvd. St. F-1
Deltona, Florida 32725

Here's What Our Clients Say About Us

This sales associate team has the best experience and guidance to provide any home buyer. I could seriously go on and on. They are authentic. They have integrity. They approach each case covering all the bases. It has been two weeks since I moved into my home and I am still a bit reactionary yet, they have reached out to check on me. I am so grateful. They have real knowledge and experience in so many ways, other parts of the country, the market, dealing with other agents, experience with lenders; they gave me confidence. I feel they treated me with respect and whether I was a multi millionaire or the truth, a person with a tenuous credit score, they did their best for me and with me. Every home we looked at, they provided positive options to flaws or problems. They utilized every communication modality possible to assist me and get thru the whole process. They are down to earth authentic people that understood my fears and gave me time for explanations every time. I learned so much from them. Plus, they dont stop at the end of the sale! They continue to provide excellent service with contacts and advice. I am seriously very grateful. Mary Robison
Julie and Jake best team ever. They are easy-going to work with. Their genuine interest in our needs and desires made buying our property a fantastic experience. They were patient, extremely attentive,and offered sound advice during the entire process. We couldn't be happier with our new home or with the service we received from them. Isabel Candelas Sanabria
Thanks to you and Jake for a great job done. When I first called you I received a wonderful service from you. Thank to your son for being there at the closing. Anthony Mangogna
After a great experience with Prime Real Estate Inc., Julie and her family deserve recognition for their dedication to us during this exciting, yet stressful time. Tommy met with us multiple occasions to view homes and Jake called to check in on us during the process as well. Julie was always prompt with answering questions and ensuring needs were met, and every problem was always met with a solution! We wouldn't be in a home yet if it weren't for the hard work of Julie and her team. We are now two weeks into our new home and we are so happy with the outcome, all thanks to Julie, Jake, and Tommy! Thank you Jeff & Sharon Mathews
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